When the Greeks settled in Egypt, with Alexander the Great’s conquest and later, under Ptolemaic rule, they adopted diverse aspects of the local lifestyle, their funerary practices among them. The traditional Egyptian mask, which protected the mummy’s head and shoulders, was altered to a large extent, giving rise to a kind of covering made of several layers of plaster-impregnated cloth that was quite thick, upon which the facial features of the deceased were modeled and then painted with vivid colors. Our mask demonstrates how the eyes are treated with lines that have become stereotyped and it is very different from the traditional form. Other features have been idealized as well, the eyebrows, nose, mouth and ears. Wearing an ample necklace made with attractive weaving in abstract decorative patterns, the decorated headdress has lateral drapes painted with large figures of Osiris seated on his throne resting on a frieze composed of various uraeus; that is to say, representations of cobras, a symbol of power. The sides of the headdress are ornamented with two winged goddesses carrying solar disks, one raises her right hand and the other stands, with wings spread open over a tabernacle, completed with two diminutive figures of Osiris standing between two deities in the form of mummies with animal heads. On the head there is a solar disk in relief, which circles behind with an Isis Knot that culminates in a couple of uraeus, where one wears the crown of Upper Egypt and the other, the crown of Lower Egypt.


  • Title: Egyptian relief
  • Date Created: -1292/-1075
  • Physical Dimensions: 29.5 x 49.5 cm
  • Medium: Limestone

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